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Title: Carbon transport by symbiotic fungi in fourwing saltbush, Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt

Author: Barrow, Jerry R.;

Date: 2001

Source: In: McArthur, E. Durant; Fairbanks, Daniel J., comps. Shrubland ecosystem genetics and biodiversity: proceedings; 2000 June 13-15; Provo, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-21. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 291-294.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Mycorrhizal fungi enhance the nutrition and survival of host plants in native ecosystems. Arid rangelands severely challenge plants because of chronic nutrient and water stress. Fourwing saltbush, Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt., a dominant and important shrub of western arid rangelands, generally considered to be non-mycorrhizal, is more extensively colonized by dark septate (DS) fungal endophytes than by traditional mycorrhizal fungi. Roots of fourwing saltbush colonized by DS fungi were stained with sudan IV and analyzed with differential interference microscopy that revealed extensive internal colonization by vacuolated hyaline hyphae that is not evident using conventional fungus staining methods. Fungal vacuoles accumulated substantial quantities of lipids in the sieve elements and cortex when roots were physiologically active. The widespread colonization of fourwing saltbush by DS fungi and their extensive accumulation of lipids suggests that these fungi transport and manage carbon in arid ecosystems. Their potential role in ecosystems stability is discussed.

Keywords: wildland shrubs, genetics, biodiversity, disturbance, ecophysiology, community ecology

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Barrow, Jerry R. 2001. Carbon transport by symbiotic fungi in fourwing saltbush, Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt. In: McArthur, E. Durant; Fairbanks, Daniel J., comps. Shrubland ecosystem genetics and biodiversity: proceedings; 2000 June 13-15; Provo, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-21. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 291-294.

 


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